Local PCS reps led a protest against the British National Party's plans to hold a Christmas quiz and social evening Ore community centre in Old London Road on Monday night (8 December 2008). However when local media made the community centre aware of the demo late yesterday afternoon, management backed down and cancelled the BNP’s booking.
Hastings PCS rep and delegate from the newly relaunched Hastings and District TUC Trades Council, Nigel Sheahan, hailed the decision as a major victory:
“As soon as we saw the Hastings Observer article last Friday about this event we organised reps from unions across the local area to come to hand out leaflets at the event. Fortunately the community centre cancelled on the BNP when they realised the strength of feeling. We needed to point out the public that by holding this event in a council-owned facility and selling golliwogs and other ‘patriotic Christmas gifts’ the BNP were clearly trying to stir up racial tension. Fortunately the community centre cancelled on the BNP when they realised the strength of feeling.”
Chris Laverick, local organiser for Love Music Hate Racism who joined in the protest added, “Its great that the combined efforts of us all has forced this positive decision, I am overjoyed that the community centre saw sense and kicked out the racists”.
Campaigners will be writing to East Sussex County Council for an explanation and an assurance that the BNP will not be welcome to use council facilities in the area in future. Protests are also being planned by anti-fascist campaigners for proposed BNP Christmas events in Hove (today, 10 December 2008) and Crawley (Saturday, 13 December 2008).